Indoor Cat Enrichment

Did you know Indoor enrichment can improve your cat’s quality of life by reducing stress, boredom and obesity?

Outdoor and wild cat species are natural predators, used to stalking, running and capturing their prey.  Indoor cats can become stressed, bored, frustrated, and obese without such challenges. The American Association of Feline Practitioners and International Society of Feline Medicine have issued guidelines describing a healthy environment for cats.

Some playtime and simulated hunting activities suggestions:

Active Play – Cat toys that stimulate stalking and catching behavior include wand-style toys, balls, and toy mice, as well as battery powdered toys that simulate the movements of small rodents.

Owner should introduce a few minutes if playtime at the same time each day. Keep playtime interesting. Rotate cat toys in use, and keep unused toys out of sight.

Hunting for Food – Owners can relieve their cats’ boredom by making mealtimes interactive, but the transition from a bowl of food to a scavenger hunt can take a while.  First, feed a high quality diet that is appropriate for your cat’s life stage. We recommend a combination of dry and wet foods.  Hide the food bowl somewhere away from other animals and machinery like the washer and dryer and let the cat find it.  With multiple cats, hide multiple food bowls out of sight from each other.  You can also add interest and increase your cat’s activity with food puzzle toys like balls that have to be batted around to shake out the food, or add canned food to hollow toys that your cat has to work to remove.

For more information on indoor cat enrichment, visit the website on this topic from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine: